Spirituality and the Family Life
We are fortunate in having some families as members of the Geelong Sri Chinmoy Centre. Whilst young children bring some challenges for a centre whose main activity involves periods of silence, they also bring us great joy and remind us of the importance of having a child-like heart. In our centre, the children are encouraged to take part in the activities of the centre to their capacity and according to their stage of development. Children under the age of 12 years are not usually able to meditate for more than a few minutes at a time, and spiritual activities such as singing and reading are more suitable for this age group.
“My young friends, do you know that there is a Person who loves you infinitely
more than your best friend loves you? Do you want to know His Name? His Name is God.
Do you know there is a Person who loves you infinitely more than your dear parents love you? Do you want to know His Name? His Name is God.
Do you know there is a Person who loves you infinitely more that you love yourselves? Do you want to know His Name? His Name is God.
Do you want me to prove it? It is very easy to prove. Your best friend never feels that you are as great as God. But God always feels that you are as great as He is.
Your parents never feel that you are as good as God. But God always feels that you are as good as He is.
You never knew that you are another God. But God knows that you are another God and He always tells you that very thing. But in order to hear His Voice, you have to pray lovingly every morning and every evening. Please ask your parents to teach you how to pray. If you pray daily, I assure you one day you will hear God’s Voice. And then what I have just told you, you yourselves will be able to hear directly from God.”
There are many spiritual songs by Sri Chinmoy which the children in our centre particularly love. Whilst they are able to learn the more simple songs written in Bengali, Sri Chinmoy’s songs in English are more accessible for them initially. Our centre favourite is "Every Mother is an Angel”.
Other favourites include-:
- I love My Animal Kingdom-Songs (a collection of mostly one line songs about animals and their predominant qualities). Of these animal songs, “I am a Lion-Roar” is the all time favourite.
- “Cheerful, cheerful, cheerful, be cheerful” works as a great antidote for times of grumpiness!
- "Be happy, remain happy"
- "Always, always…a sweet smile"
- "My own gratitude heart is all that matters.
- "Enthusiasm, enthusiasm, God’s main food." (and other enthusiasm songs)
- "Optimism, optimism optimism joy” (and other optimism songs)"
- "Never allow anyone to clip the silver wings of you golden dreams."
Also popular amongst children are songs about Sri Chinmoy’s childhood, such as “Moonlight and Starlight”, “A Shakpura Village Boy” and the many songs about Chittagong, the closest town to Sri Chinmoy’s childhood village home of Shakpura.
It is a delight to see how children’s positive qualities become more and more prominent when they engage in simple spiritual activities and are helped to develop a spiritual perspective on life. Parents in our centre find Sri Chinmoy’s books "Soul Education for the Family-World and "A Child’s Heart & A Child’s Dreams" (not in Sri Chinmoy's online library but available from Aum publications, New York) particularly helpful in guiding their children’s spiritual development.
Q1. What is the best attitude for bringing up children?
Sri Chinmoy: The best attitude for bringing up children is guidance, compassion, forgiveness and conscious oneness.
Q2. What advice can you offer to single parents?
Sri Chinmoy: To those that are single parents because of divorce, my only suggestion is that
they should not speak ill of the other party to their children. The children should not be influenced.
Let the children listen to the dictates of their hearts. Let them feel that both their father and their mother are good. Let their hearts like magnets, pull the good qualities of the father and of the mother. Neither the father nor the mother should consciously or unconsciously influence the children against the other partner.
Parents should be very careful if they get a divorce. They should pay extra attention to the children, for when the family breaks, the consciousness of the children will break automatically. And who is responsible? The parents are one hundred percent responsible. Therefore, they should take action to rectify the situation to some extent. They can only do so by giving more love, abundant love, and by showing the children that their separation will in no way affect their love for them. What is of paramount importance is love. They have to offer their children boundless love.
Q3. Is there a particular spiritual quality that we should invoke while teaching our children?
Sri Chinmoy: There are many qualities you should invoke while teaching your children, but the most important quality is self-giving. This unparalleled quality you should invoke not only while you are teaching your children but all the time, whether your children are around you or not.
Q4. What is the mother's duty in bringing up children?
Sri Chinmoy: Themother's duty is to teach the children how to pray, how to be simple, sincere and loving. These are a few things that the mother should take as her bounden duty in bringing up her children.
Q5. What is the father's duty in bringing up children?
Sri Chinmoy: The father's duty is to teach his knowledge and wisdom and to bring to the children the message of the vast world. The little family is not all; there is a large family also. The mother will use all her living, intimate, affectionate qualities. The father will also do that, but the father will also bring the message of the outer world to the children. The mother will make the family sweet, sweeter, sweetest and the father will bring the outer world closer to the children. He will make them feel that there is another world which has to be housed inside the little world, or that the little world has to be part and parcel of that large world.